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north beach for swimming (compared to maya riviera)

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Asheville, North...
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north beach for swimming (compared to maya riviera)

We are about to book a quick trip somewhere on Maya Riviera like Catalonia Royal Tulum, which we like not because it's an AI but because of the beach.

However several people have told us that as independent travelers, we would really like Isla Mujeres better.

My question is - what is north beach really like for swimming? Is it rocky enough to warrant water shoes? Is it rough or calm? Long enough to walk uninterrupted for 30-45 minutes?

We don't expect miles and miles of white sand but the calm water and soft sand is essential. We basically like to sit under an umbrella all day and wander out for the occasional swim.

And IM is a reasonable alternative, which hotel would you recommend that is on the beach? Privilege?

Any input is appreciated.

Healy, Alaska
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1. Re: north beach for swimming (compared to maya riviera)

Well, I haven't been on the Riviera, but the water on the Playa Norte is wonderful. It is fairly shallow, so you have to go out a bit to get in the deeper water. Wonderful sand and gorgeous water - no water shoes needed in my opinion. But no walking for 30-45 minutes - Isla is only about 5 miles long, so . . . but there are some good walking areas on the island.

If you are truly an independent traveler, I would not recommend PA - there are so many wonderful places to choose from on Isla - from budget to luxury. Let us know the type of hotel you like - there are several right on Playa Norte:

http://www.isla-mujeres.net/acomcentro.htm

Another wonderful forum is www.islamujeres.info

Happy planning! :)

Asheville, North...
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2. Re: north beach for swimming (compared to maya riviera)

Thanks so much for the information. Because of airfare, our budget is pretty low but hopefully should be do-able. The AIs are just dirt cheap right now - which is why we are even considering one.

Anyway, I would say $100/night and preferably on the beach (or right across the street) is what we are looking for. We are not fancy but do require A/C and solid plumbing.

There are good package deals for Privilege Aux right now which is why I mentioned it. It seems to be on on nice stretch of the beach. We probably won't eat at our hotel much and aren't big drinkers. Mostly want the lounge chairs, the shade, the surf and proximity to some good restaurants.

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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3. Re: north beach for swimming (compared to maya riviera)

It is low season now, so you could easily find cheap but nice accommodations. Posada del Mar is one of the first that comes to mind - nice hotel (not fancy) pool/bar/restaurant and their own beach area as well. http://www.morningsinmexico.com/posada.htm

I wouldn't even consider AI for Isla - local food is just too good and some of the most inexpensive in the area (compared to Cancun or PdC) check out www.hollyeats.com for an idea of the good food on Isla. I think you could beat that price of an AI - $50 a night for lodging - and I don't think there is anyway you would spend $50 a day for food unless you drank quite a bit - JMHO.

Just a short walk from PA is an area called Playa Sol/Sergios - free chairs & umbrellas as long as you are eating/drinking some. That is generally where we hang out and there are some other places like that as well. Playa norte does charge for chairs, but I am not sure what the rate is during the low season. I hope it works out for you - Isla is a great little island. :)

Winnipeg, Canada
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4. Re: north beach for swimming (compared to maya riviera)

I love the code "independant traveller". Definately check out Isla

http://www.isla-mujeres.net/

The beach is a real gem as is this low key island with a cool funky vibe. Playa Norte is completely sand and and no swim shoes at all. Maybe look at the Nautibeach Condos, the Ixchel, Cabanas Maria del Mar and the Avalon Reef Club as well. All on Play Norte.

new york
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5. Re: north beach for swimming (compared to maya riviera)

I second (third?) what the posters above have said. Any of the hotels mentioned would be perfect for what you're looking for.

Posada del Mar has a great beach across the street with free loungers for guests. It is also about 60 dollars off season and 100 in high season.

Nautibeach is terrific also, but more expensive and charges 20 dollars for loungers and umbrellas. That is deducted from your food/drinks bill at their restaurant on the beach, the Sunset Grill. However, if you walk just a little to the left at Playa Sol, that's free if you eat/drink there.

Ixchel is about the same price as Nauti and has free chaises/umbrellas for guests.

Cabanas Maria del Mar charge for loungers/umbrellas regardless of whether you eat or drink at the beach bar Buho's.

Dallas
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6. Re: north beach for swimming (compared to maya riviera)

In case you would like a visual, here are some recent pictures of North Beach.....lovely smooth sand, no rocks, shallow and calm

http://www.PictureTrail.com/gid22270731

Winnipeg, Canada
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7. Re: north beach for swimming (compared to maya riviera)

Thanks for the current pics of the beach.

Dallas, TX
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8. Re: north beach for swimming (compared to maya riviera)

Definately no water shoes needed. I've walked, swam, & floated from the little bay near Avalon down to Sergio's, some places you can walk out about 250-300 yrds and still be chest-deep. Always calm, sandy bottom & crystal clear. Agree w/ Coalminer on all. Skip the AI on Isla, eat along the main drag the ferry is on (Picus, Miramar, Minninos, etc), and on Hidalgo St. Tons of inexpensive, great food everywhere. All a short walk from Northbeach & Priv.Alex (if that's where you end up staying). We love Buhos, Chi-Chi & Charlies, and Sergio's, as well as Nautibeach. Northbeach is long enough for a good walk. Google some pictures and you'll see.

We were there in early July, no crowds, and the chair/umberlla rental was only $15 or so, which after a couple of buckets of Sol, and some ceveche or guac, you're good to go. I think our entire tab was barely $25-30 bucks and we had plenty to drink.

I think you'd love Isla. We're foodies, so we'll never go AI, and from our 4-5 trips to Isla, we're addicted to the food there.

Savannah, Georgia
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9. Re: north beach for swimming (compared to maya riviera)

I second this. A stunning stretch of beach and a more cultural less commecial experience than the MR. The locals are warm and it's a safe town for evening strolls and dinners.

Amherst...
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10. Re: north beach for swimming (compared to maya riviera)

I'm not an expert but I have been there and I've done a lot shopping around before booking our return trip. I wouldn't necessarily rule out PA because it is in a nice location & it's brand new. If you can score a great deal then it may fit you. We paid $32/day extra (together for 2 of us)for an AI upgrade and that's a steal. I agree not to go AI if you're paying a lot to get it but when they're practically giving it away, it's hard to pass up. Even you if have a couple drinks and snacks on the beach it's worth it.

We also plan on sampling plenty of the local food they have to offer there and there's no shortage to choose from.

Most of the places mentioned here will work for you so go with the best deal if you're watching your money.